If all goes according to plan, next week I will be traveling to Germany to research my second novel. (Where is the first novel, you might ask? It’s in search of a literary agent, a long process. Details at my author’s website.) The second novel is set in Germany during 1928-1938, and I’m heading for Berlin, Dessau, and Munich. As we all know, when it comes to travel (and life in general) the adage “Man plans, God laughs” is often apt.
So, fingers crossed.
This is the first time I have ever ventured abroad on my own. I never traveled as a teen or young adult, with the exception of a two-week, whirlwind trip with my sister in 1973, a gift from our grandmother, who wanted us to see her German homeland and get a taste of Europe. We traveled by Eurailpass, back when it was really cheap to go First Class, from London to Berlin (we took the train-ferry across the English Channel to Belgium, then flew into Berlin since access was limited because the country and city were still divided), and on from Berlin to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Paris. We stayed in youth hostels, dragged our suitcases everywhere, saw a lot, but decided to come home a few days early because we were totally exhausted.
In recent years, Al and I have traveled to Israel and made several wonderful trips to Europe, plus a lovely visit to Canada this past summer, and I’ve gained a lot of experience with travel planning. With this trip, I’m putting all of that to good use. I’ve cleared my plan with my entire medical team, who have been universally supportive and encouraging. And Al and our daughter are, as ever, supportive, too.
After all the restrictions of the pandemic and the past couple of years trying to figure out what exactly has been going on with my heart and lungs, I am both grateful to be feeling up for the adventure and trying my best to stay healthy prior to and during my travels. More than just a trip I’ve been dreaming of for several years and planning for months, this is a personal-best challenge to myself. I need to know, as I approach my 69th birthday next month, that I can just do it.
So, if all goes according to plan, I will be taking a break from writing here for a few weeks. I hope to have some great stories and photos to share when I’m back at the end of the month. In the meantime, Dear Reader, be well.
Image: Stefan Widua